Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hello, summer!

It's official: I'm on summer vacation. I have had to pinch myself to be sure.

Let's revise that: I HAVE BEEN on summer vacation since Tuesday, that is, after I posted the grades online.

Since the final exam, I had dithered, deliberated, over the grades I was going to assign, enduring repeated flashbacks of each student's quality of work, extents in efforts, time spent at the easel, pursued major, even individual temperament. I had lost sleep over the consequences of my "judgement". I consulted colleagues, even KDM on my criteria; I prayed for guidance and truthfulness.
In short, I took it seriously and suffered indecisions.

My deliberations and agonies paid off.

On the day the grades were due, having consumed my accustomed amount of a.m. coffee, I sat down by the computer, logged on the grade page, found the names, typed the grades in, submitted all, logged out, and never looked back.

I have no qualm for wanting to evict these names from my mind for a while. I've cared and fussed over them for sixteen weeks. I've alternately felt affection and contempt for them, justified and rebuked my conflicting emotions throughout; I've managed to come out wanting to be just fair and true (because I'm sorta under the yoke, and I don't mean just the ethics, you know?)...

Now I just want the leaf turned over and move on.

I commenced my release by making this painting -

May Flowers, oil on canvas,  8"x10" 

for my parish carnival which is set for this weekend. Being a true last-minuter, I started and finished it the day before yesterday, after three tumultuous (yes it's that serious) previous starts (painting has gotten painful in these parts, even a tiny and utilitarian one like this, but let me not digress). To speed up drying, I used extra dryer in the paint. Still, it will need a "wet paint" card beside it on the silent auction table.

Then, yesterday, KDM, the families of his two sons, and I went to Crystal Bridges, to see the blockbuster Norman Rockwell exhibition that I had wanted so badly to see.

And we all had a ball, from KDM down to the 22 month-old. The size and diversity of the crowds, many gray-haired and in wheelchair, were like nothing I'd seen in all of my museum goings. Norman Rockwell have united the snobs and commoners alike in art. The museum, founded by members associated with a mega-business known for efficiency and organization, looked even a bit overwhelmed and disheveled. Nobody seemed to mind it, though. And I was all too happy to see so many flocking to an art house, and none needed my instruction or grading.

Too bad viewers weren't allowed to photograph either the works or the throng. But neither Norman Rockwell needs introduction nor does his work lack reproduced images. Still, I want to share this exhibition header from CB's website:

As I slowly recollect my story-telling, expressive consciousness, you may expect a little less desolation around this place.


  1. I think this is my favorite work of yours and I want it! Can you just whip out another for your church sale and sell me this one instead?

    Purty please?

    1. Your request, or rather, my reading of it, was too late. The thing has been logged in to silent auction inventory, and should be on the table as I write. But fret not, these hands are still good and there's no shortage of paint nor time. I'll just have to get busy and make you another one!

  2. Oh please do! Everything about that painting is perfect, from the subjects to the colors - I really do love it!

  3. Your painting is very nice. By the way, my wife and I spent a nice afternoon at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts a few years ago. If you ever get to that part of the country, I recommend it:

    1. Thanks for the link - I've bookmarked it. Didn't even know there's a NR museum. A friend told me about his watercolors, which were not among the show I saw. I was also told that NR's boys have "the best knees!"


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